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6 Examples of Black Spiders in Texas (Pictures)

There are many types of spiders all over the world. Some are black or brown, others are brilliantly colored. In this article we’re looking at 6 species of black spiders in Texas. Some common spiders, and a few uncommon spiders, but all occur in Texas. Let’s learn some interesting facts about them and look at a few pictures.

Black spiders in Texas

Most spiders are not dangerous to people, even though they look very odd and even frightening. A few are even venomous and can make anyone who is bitten very sick. Many people also have allergic reactions to spider bites and can also become sick when bitten, even by spiders that are otherwise harmless.

1. The Black Widow Spider

Black widow on web
Black widow on web | Image by jgiammatteo from Pixabay

In Texas, the black widow spider comes in two varieties. The type most commonly found in Texas is the Southern Black Widow spider. The Western Black Widow is also found in some parts of Texas.

The female of both types of spiders is black, with a marking shaped like an “hourglass” of two triangles on their abdomen. The two can be distinguished because the hourglass is solid in the Southern Black Widow spider, and is separated by a black line in the middle in the Western Black Widow spider.

Because the Western Black Widow spider appears similar to the Northern Black Widow spider, it was thought to be a sub-species of the Northern Black Widow for many years. The hourglass on a Western Black Widow can sometimes be yellow, or rarely white.

Female Black Widow spiders will sometimes confront larger predators by spitting a glob of spider web material at their attacker. While the web is not poisonous, it is sticky and irritating and many attackers are deterred, or too busy cleaning off the web to bother the spider.

2. Tarantulas

Texas tan tarantula
Texas tan tarantula | image by codystricker via iNaturalist | CC BY 4.0

There are six different species of tarantula in Texas. Most of the species look very similar to one another, and have brown bodies, with gray or black legs. Tarantulas also appear to be hairy and have abdomens that look like they are covered with fur.

Female tarantulas are much larger than male tarantulas, and some species can grow to the size of the palm of your hand. Tarantulas do not build webs like other spiders.

Instead, they hunt their prey by waiting for the prey to wander by. The tarantula then grabs its victim, injects poison with its fangs, and settles down to enjoy its meal.

3. Parsons Spider

Western parson spider
Western parson spider | image by lostinfog via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

The Parsons Spider has a wide range in North America and is found in Texas. It is black with a white mark on its abdomen. This reminded observers in the 1800s of a priest or minister wearing a clerical collar.

This spider hunts prey at night by chasing it. It does not build a web. In the daytime, the Parsons spider hides underneath rocks or sticks. They usually live in wooded areas, but can sometimes be found in buildings or houses.

The bite from a Parsons Spider isn’t really dangerous to people, but sometimes a person has an allergic reaction. In this case, the victim may have a bump or rash. It has its name because a white mark on its abdomen reminded people of a priest’s or parson’s collar.

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This spider does not build a web but instead hunts its prey at night by chasing it down. During the day, they hide beneath rocks and sticks. They are usually found in forests but sometimes they go into houses or buildings.

The bite of a Parsons Spider isn’t terribly dangerous, but some people have an allergic reaction. In this case, the victim may experience a bump and rash.

3. Jumping Zebra Spider

Jumping zebra spider
Jumping zebra spider | Image by Peter Schmidt from Pixabay

The Jumping Zebra Spider has black and white stripes. It can be found throughout North America as well as in Texas. It grows to about a quarter inch in size.

In general, any sort of jumping spider hunts by stalking its prey and pouncing, rather than building a web. Jumping Zebra Spiders are often found in open places where they can hunt.

A wall or other flat surface is preferred. They will often be found in homes, but they are not dangerous to people.

4. Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Black and yellow garden spider
Black and yellow garden spider | Image by Roland Steinmann from Pixabay

This spider is sometimes simply called the garden spider. Black and yellow garden spiders are usually found in open fields, and pastures, or gardens. These spiders can range in size between 1/4 inch and a little over an inch.

They build large webs that hang from plants, in order to catch insects. While a garden spider might bite if a person attacks them, they are not venomous enough to be harmful.

5. Bold Jumping Spider

Bold jumping spider on leaf
Bold jumping spider on leaf | image by Brian Tomlinson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The Bold Jumping Spider is a black spider with orange spots on its abdomen, and bright, shiny blue mouthparts. It does not build a web but instead hunts prey by searching and pouncing. The Bold Jumping Spider uses spider silk to make egg cases and to make lines to attach to surfaces when making jumps.

Like other jumping spiders, the Bold Jumping Spider prefers open, vertical surfaces for hunting. It might be found on trees, walls, or in similar places. While people have been bitten by Bold Jumping Spiders, the bite is usually not dangerous unless a person is allergic.

6. Southern House Spider

Southern house spider
Southern house spider | image by oliver.dodd via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The southern house spider is a black and brown spider found in Texas and the southern United States. It is also found on the islands of the Caribbean and in South America as far away as Argentina. The southern house spider has eight eyes, like most other spiders.

However, all eight are clustered in a mound in front of the spider’s body. This often leads to a misidentification of the spider with a much more primitive form of a spider, the Mygalomorphae. The male southern house spider is also sometimes confused and mistaken for the very venomous brown recluse spider.